THIS book has been published by the Rhode Island School of Design, at the request of the late Charles L. Pendleton, of Providence, Rhode Island, and as a fitting appreciation of his gift of this splendid collection, which is about to be placed in a fire-proof house especially designed for its housing, where it will be open to the public.
This book is essentially a catalogue of the collection, and takes up the description of the pieces in the order of their arrangement in the rooms. It has been the aim of the author, however, to make this volume something more than a catalogue descriptive of the pieces, and in a number of instances matters of general information regarding decoration and style have been given, in the hope that the reader will find it of sufficient interest to read the volume consecutively.
There are two essential features to be noted in determining the period to which a given specimen belongs: the outline and the decoration. The latter seems never to have been given sufficient weight; and for that reason specimens of Dutch and Chippendale furniture have been hopelessly mixed. Any articles of furniture made during the first three-quarters of the eighteenth century, which are superior in construction or decoration, have been called Chippendale. It has been the endeavor of the writer to point out some distinctions, and in a measure to correct the faulty and indefinite classification.
For the technical descriptions of the clock works the writer is indebted to Mr. Walter H. Durfee, of Providence; and for material for the notes on the porcelain and English wares, to the numerous excellent books on those special subjects.